Copy and read “Quetzalcoatl and the Creation of Man” that is a part of this unit.
Ask students to list the questions about Aztec life and the world around them that are answered in this story. (See Lesson Plan I)
Define and discuss the meaning of the word “agriculture.”
Discuss why agriculture is so important to the Aztecs and their religion.
Divide students in to small groups of three or four. Using the books listed in the students’ bibliography, have students research the food of the Aztecs.
Discuss the similarities and differences between the food that the Aztecs eat and the food that we eat today.
As a class, plan and prepare an Aztec meal.
Read the Nigerian folktale
Why the Sky is Far Away
by Mary-Joan Gerson. This myth is also about food and answers the question why people grow their food. Have students compare and contrast these two stories.
Visit the Yale Art Gallery to look at the Mesoamerican collection. The docents at the gallery are very knowledgeable and are always willing to work with teachers on specific topics. Of special interest to students would be the statue of Tlaloc, the rain god; the sculpture of the Aztec ball game and the actual equipment worn in the game; and the pots that held the Aztec or Maya chocolate drink. After visiting the art gallery, students can create their own sculptures of Aztecs gods using clay, paper mache, or plaster cast.
Visit the Peabody Museum to look at the Aztec Calendar Stone that is on display there. Students can read, or have read to them, the complete creation story that includes the creation of the five suns and then look at the carvings on the stone. A concise description of the creations can be found in
Everyday Life of the Aztecs
by Warwick Bray.
Have students keep an ongoing list of the Aztec gods that are encountered in their reading. The list should include the Aztec name of the god, a phonetic pronunciation, the English translation of the name, any identifying attributes, and the god’s areas of responsibility or “job”.
Students can be asked to illustrate any of the myths used in this unit. The illustrations in Alfonso Caso’s
would be helpful to students with this project. Students will also need to conduct research in order to accurately portray Aztec clothing, housing, market places, etc. The books listed in the student bibliography will be helpful.